COG3 Seminar - Roger Summons (MIT)

Friday, October 14, 2022 at 10:00am to 11:00am

Building 54, Room 915
21 AMES ST, Cambridge, MA 02139

Insights into Earth's oxygenation from the geological record of chemical fossils

The advent of oxygenic photosynthesis and oxygenation of Earth’s ocean-atmosphere system rendered the planet habitable for complex life. Many uncertainties surround when and how this came about despite its centrality to our very existence. Accordingly, much of the effort in our lab revolves around trying to address some of these questions with insights drawn from the geological record of chemical fossils. This talk begins with a brief introduction to some ideas that drew me to this research topic and a description of the tools we use. I will then discuss some of what is known about the oxygenation timeline followed by how carotenoids, a class of light-harvesting pigments, carry signals for photosynthesis in ancient environments as they are informed by observations in contemporary settings.


About this series: The Chemical Oceanography, Geology, Geochemistry, and Geobiology Seminar [COG3] is a student-run seminar series. Topics include chemical oceanography, geology, geochemistry, and geobiology. Contact for more information and Zoom password.


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Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
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